March 9, 2007
Free Guides for Linux Beginners
I took a look at the Introduction to Linux from TLDP. The strengths of this book make it worth looking at if you are familiar with DOS, if you like using Konqueror, or if you would appreciate some well-written exercises that will guide you through the learning experience.
Did I really say Konqueror? Yes, in Section 2.3. “Getting help”, the author gives instructions for how to use Konqueror to enter some commands, if you prefer to use it for browsing for help. My hunch is that the the instructions given may also be helpful for someone using similar alternate browsers, such as Midnite Commander.
However, I have a preference for how-to’s and tutorials that serve as references, in which I can look specific things up without having to wade through a lot of other stuff. Unfortunately, the guide seems to be meant to be read as a book, from beginning to end. And while the individual chapters can stand alone, and it is an excellent conceptual introduction, I found it too slow and not concise enough, given how much I already know about Linux.
So, since I have been annoyed with the way the tldp guides I have seen so far seem to be organized (my personal prejudice), I went off and glanced again at the Linux Review’s Beginners: Learn Linux guide, to see if I could find a clear, concise explanation of, for example, the command to make symlinks, the ln command, and I did here.
While everyone says to read the man pages, I personally don’t get much from reading them until I have some experience with the command. So, I appreciate a good tutorial. Unfortunately, each author of beginner’s tutorials has many, many standard commands to choose from, so no tutorial will have everything I want to look up, now that I have learned the minimal basics.
I believe the best way to learn about a command is to google “tutorial command linux” or “how-to command linux” and then see which articles float to the top of their listings. One or two of them is usually enough for me to learn what I need to know.
Those tutorials which are packed with useful information, I download and keep my own copy of, and I usually search through them before I query google.
If you haven’t already done so, I recommend you look at the resources I have listed in my Newbie Page, and at my earlier blog post which lists other free tldp guides that look like they may be very helpful.